New Eurostat Report shows EU waters appearing to have become more sustainable


The statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat, has recently published the ‘Sustainable development in the European Union — 2022 monitoring report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context‘, providing a statistical overview of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU.

The monitoring report presents short-term and long-term trends relating to the SDGs in the EU as well as analyses of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts during 2020, 2021 and the beginning of 2022.

In the monitoring of the SDG 14  ‘life below water‘, the report highlighted trends in the areas of ocean health, marine conservation and sustainable fisheries. Marine conservation efforts have increased and fishing activities in EU waters appear to have become more sustainable. Trends in ocean health, however, remain mixed:

88.4% of EU coastal water bathing sites had excellent water quality in 2020;
0.20% of marine waters in the EU’s exclusive economic zones were classified as eutrophic in 2020;
In 2020, the mean pH level of global ocean surface water reached a new low of 8.05;
10.7% of the EU’s marine area were protected in 2019;
Between 2004 and 2019, fishing pressure in EU marine waters decreased by 35%;
Between 2004 and 2019, fish stock biomass in EU marine waters increased by 30%.



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